A little child turns the village tap in hope of water, but all he says he looks up and says, "There is no water." The tap had run dry 10 years ago, in the village of Saraipallai, Chhattisgarh but the administration had paid little heed to fix the dysfunctional water tank which caused the water shortage. India has the highest number of people in the world without access to safe water.The country has 75.8 million people, at least 5% of its 1.25 billion population, without access to clean water.
"A water tank was made in 2005-06 at the cost of Rs 36 lakh, but it has not been in use for even a full day in the decade," says Rajesh Gupta, the correspondent. Rajesh, a resident of the same village and a Community Correspondent, had faced the problem just like the rest of the people. The tank had a faulty motor, which could not draw sufficient water to the tank. Due to no maintenance and faulty pipelines, the water scarcity only escalated with time. People had to go to neighbourhoods to fill buckets and pots for their daily water needs.
Rajesh went about documenting these problems and the people's efforts to solve it. "The people had given several applications to the collector and the Chief Minister but the problem was never solved," reveals Rajesh, as he documented these evidence on camera. With the video in hand, Rajesh prepared to motivate people to come together and make a collective effort to demand action from the local administration. But the process was long. "It took 18 months for us to get a solution. We wrote letters, visited the administrative office several times and constantly followed up till the officers came about a solution," explains Rajesh.
But in the end, the victory was sweet. Thanks to Rajesh's perseverance for change, the entire village's faulty pipeline was replaced and a new borewell was installed, as well. The administration has also earmarked Rs 9 lakh for the tubewell's maintenance. "Rajesh guided us through this process. Together, we went to all the necessary places and presented our problems," says a Saraipallai resident.
Today, the village receives sufficient, clean drinking water.
Community correspondent Rajesh Gupta reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.
A MBBS student from Kashmir, stressed by exams and the pandemic, uses art to unwind.
The Union government's Soubhagya Jyoti scheme aimed to electrify every Indian village by Mar 2019. But that ambition is yet to be realised.